Policy cut 1.5bn plastic bags this year: EPA

Taipei Times
Date: Dec 23, 2018
By: Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter
Additional measures restricting plastic bag use that were implemented in January

A man drinks from a McDonald’s cup in Taipei on Feb. 13.
Photo: Huang Yao-cheng, Taipei Times

have resulted in 1.5 billion fewer plastic bags being used over the past year, an Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) official said yesterday, adding that the agency would start limiting the use of plastic straws from July next year.

The agency in January expanded its ban on free plastic shopping bags from seven to 14 kinds of businesses, including beverage and bakery stores, and people who need bags now have to pay for them.

Nearly 80 percent of people do not ask for free plastic bags when shopping now, and many have developed the habit of bringing their own reusable bags, EPA Department of Waste Management senior technical specialist Lee Yi-hua (李宜樺) said.

The agency has this year inspected 90,000 stores across the nation and issued 118 warnings to those found in contravention of the ban, he said, adding that only two stores received fines for failing to rectify the matter after being warned.

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